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EPA's Region 6 Office

Serving: Arkansas, Louisiana, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Texas, and 66 Tribal Nations

Regional UIC Land Ban Contact

Brian Graves, UIC Land Ban Coordinator, Ground Water/UIC Section (6WQ-SG), Source Water Protection Branch, Water Quality Protection Division, Environmental Protection Agency - Region 6, 1445 Ross Avenue, Dallas, Texas 75202. Ph: (214) 665-7193 / Fax: (214) 665-2191.

Background

On November 8, 1984, the President signed into law the Hazardous and Solid Waste Amendments (HSWA) to the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA). The portion of these Amendments that discuss the prohibition of land disposal of restricted hazardous waste is United State Code (USC) Title 42 §6924 (d) - (m). Exit EPA Disclaimer The first rule making to implement the land disposal restrictions was published on November 7, 1986, and was codified at Title 40 of the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 268.Exit EPA Disclaimer Additional rule making has occurred since 1986, adding additional hazardous waste to the restricted list. All of these subsequent rules are also included in 40 CFR Part 268.

As part of the HSWA Amendments there is a provision that allows an operator to petition the Administrator for an exemption to this land disposal prohibition if the operator "demonstrated to the Administer, to a reasonable degree of certainty, that there will be no migration of hazardous constituents from the disposal unit or injection zone for as long as the wastes remain hazardous." Regulatorily, this has been defined as 10,000 years. Through the years this demonstration has become known as an injection well no migration petition.

The regulations that have been promulgated and are applicable to the injection of restricted hazardous waste are listed at 40 CFR Part 148. Exit EPA Disclaimer Subpart C of these regulations outlines the standards and procedures for any person seeking an exemption from the land disposal prohibition for injection of restricted hazardous waste. Included in this Subpart are the requirements of a no migration petition demonstration, the technical information that needs to be submitted in support of a petition, information regarding the review, public participation, approval or denial of a petition, and the opportunity to modify or reissue a petition.

Currently only four EPA Regions have approved injection well no migration petitions. This is based on the occurrence of industries that generate large volumes of wastewater that isn't conducive to treating and surface release and the presence of the proper geology for disposal of large volumes of wastewater. Proper geologic conditions require a disposal formation that is below the lowest USDW and has sufficient thickness, areal extent, and interconnected pore space to accept the large volumes of wastewater. This disposal formation called the injection interval must also be overlain by confining layers of impermeable rocks such as shales, nonporous carbonates, salt or anhydrite to prevent upward movement of the injected waste. This confining layer contains the waste in the disposal formations for as long as they remain hazardous. The Gulf Coast contains this type of geology and approximately 70% of the nations refining and petrochemical industry. As can be seen in the table below, this mix of industry and appropriate geology has resulted in more than 70% of all active injection well no migration petitions being in Region 6.

Injection Well No Migration Petitions by Region
Region
Approved Petitions
Active Petitions
4 - Atlanta
4
2
5 - Chicago
11
9
6 - Dallas
41
33
7 - Kansas City
1
1
TOTALS
57
45

Since the Land Disposal Restrictions have been in effect Region 6 has developed several guidelines related to various elements of the no migration petition program. These guidelines have been offered to operators and their contractors as a guide to define what the Region needs to have addressed in a no migration demonstration and provide consistency among demonstrations. Below are the guidelines:

* All documents provided below are in PDF.

Drinking Water    Ground Water    Underground Injection Control

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